Did you know that three out of five American workers would rather spend a night in jail than live without employee benefits?
Health insurance, matching 401(k)s, and paid time off make an incredible difference in the day-to-day life of an employee. They give each employee the bandwidth to devote themselves to their job, knowing that they’re making the right decision for their life and their family.
Workers will always choose a company that gives them a full breadth of benefits over one that chooses not to invest the resources in their employees.
As more companies adopt benefits for staff — even in the retail and hospitality sector — it’s more important to keep up with the competition for top talent.
An Employee Value Proposition
Benefits are necessary because they bring in the best job candidates.
They’re part of your employee value proposition, which is a fancy HR term that describes one thing: What’s in it for your employees? In other words, why should they work for you?
An employee value proposition includes whatever your staff gains from working for your business — wages, benefits, a sense of purpose, advancement opportunities. These components are your pitch to prospective employees and the characteristics that foster loyalty and high performance from your workers.
Benefits are a cornerstone of an employee value proposition.
They provide value beyond the dollar amount of an hourly wage salary, contributing to a positive company culture and increasing recruitment, retention, and company performance over time. We identified six benefits that are a necessary part of a thriving business, and explained just why you can’t build a workforce without them:
1. Health and Life Insurance
Health and life insurance give people a tangible sense of security that enables them to perform every day.
Employees can’t do their jobs if they’re concerned for their own safety and that of their family. If tragedy strikes, they’re prepared to face it head on.
Paul Hamerman of Forrester Research, Inc. believes that the importance offering these benefits, in particular, shouldn’t be underestimated. “I really think it does matter. […] Employees tend to gravitate to the companies that have the best benefit packages, and healthcare in particular is, I think, really the ultimate benefit,” he says.
Consider offering a couple of subsidized health and life insurance options that reflect the needs of your employees.
If you can’t afford to offer health insurance benefits, consider giving employees stipends to use in the state marketplace. Because health care costs are on the rise, a lot of workers couldn’t afford their own insurance without at least some assistance from their employers.
2. Retirement Plans
Employer-sponsored retirement plans give workers the opportunity to save for their future.
Just as with health and life insurance benefits, they ensure that employees are cared for outside of their life at work.
Forty-two percent of companies now match retirement contributions dollar-to-dollar. The majority of these organizations require that employees save 6% or more of their salaries. This kind of benefit is especially important to mid and late-career workers who have their minds focused on retirement plans.
There are real benefits for participating businesses, too. According to the consulting firm Towers Watson, “Effective retirement plans are clearly related to employees’ emotional connection to their employer. In fact, 60% of employees who plan to work for their company until they retire also identify their retirement program as a very important reason for staying.” By supporting retirement, businesses increase retention and strengthen the emotional connection with employees.
3. Paid Time Off
Paid time off (PTO) means that employees have the bandwidth to step away from their work. They can take a break to recharge, spend valuable time with their family, and recover when they’re sick.
Without this benefit, employees often have to quit a job because of burnout or illness.
PTO allows for a healthy work-life balance, making it less likely that employees fail to show up for work or have to quit unexpectedly.
On top of PTO, parental leave can entice prospective workers to join a company — and stay while they expand their families. For example, when Google increased its paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 18 weeks in 2007, the rate of new moms leaving the companies decreased by 50%.
By offering PTO and parental leave, business leaders make a remarkable impact on the life of their employees and the viability of their own company as employer.
4. Job Flexibility
More and more people look for flexibility when it comes to their job. Alternative schedules and remote work are becoming the norm — they both save time from long commutes and can even increase productivity.
FlexJobs fourth annual study of 2,600 participants also found that flexible work options would make 82% of the survey’s respondents more loyal to their employer.
If you can’t offer remote work or flexible hours as a company, consider creative ways to give employees more ownership over their work conditions.
Online scheduling software, for example, offers employees an easy interface to show their availability, swap their shifts, and communicate to managers.
5. Professional Development
Professional development is a clear win — it keeps your team motivated and engaged while ensuring that they continue to grow under your care. Ninety percent of restaurant managers start as hourly employees in the industry.
Imagine how much your company would benefit from developing your hourly talent and promoting them to managers.
Workers are your biggest investment as an employer. To maximize the return on the investment, focus on developing your employees. Start by developing a clear onboarding program, offering regular trainings for employees, and creating a mentorship program that matches junior and senior employees. These initiatives add to the skillset of workers without breaking the bank.
6. Above-and-Beyond Benefits
Some companies move past the standard package of benefits, surpassing the expectations of their team. They give big, unexpected bonuses or offer commuter benefits like reimbursing train tickets or covering the cost of parking.
Others take a step further — Betabrand, for example, flies workers who have never been abroad to international destinations on their dollar.
These above-and-beyond benefits delight employees, creating lifelong bonds that surpass the traditional employer-employee relationships. The investment comes back to them in incredible talent who commit themselves to a company for the long-term.
Because of their ability to motivate employees, benefits are at the heart of every successful business.
They not only offer workers the best possible work experience, but they give companies the best possible experiences as an employer. Instead of pumping resources into battling high turnover, solve the problem before it happens by offering the best benefits around to your team.Why Employee Benefits Are Necessary For A Successful Business Nick Lucs